‘I’m Alone’ Remaining Shootout Training Oh Hyun Kyu is on a roll with familiar Big Bird
“(Oh) Hyun-gyu, you can’t be disappointed. You learn from it, and there are more important games to come.”
In the friendly against Peru at the Asiad Stadium in Busan on June 16, national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann gave Oh Hyun-gyu (Celtic) a chance to start as a central striker. He trusted Oh’s instincts after he joined Celtic from Suwon Samsung in the winter transfer window, scoring six goals in 16 league games and one in four Scottish Cup games.
The different style of Oh is an attractive resource for Klinsmann, who often utilizes Cho Kyu-sung (Mitwillan) and Hwang Eui-jo (Norwich City). Born in 2001, he is young, a reserve sergeant, and has a bright future. There will be no more “unknowns” at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar without a number.
However, against Peru, Oh had a crucial shot blocked by the goalkeeper. As he hit the ground in disappointment, he came to the bench, and captain Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) looked at him and comforted him, telling him to look to the future instead of disappointment. The advice came from a sense of seeing his younger self. The wasted opportunity was even more heartbreaking for Oh, who had previously had a goal ruled offside by video assistant referee (VAR) against Uruguay in March after rattling the net.
He played 22 minutes as a substitute against El Salvador and only one minute against Wales and Saudi Arabia in England in September. His older brother, Cho Kyu-sung, scored a header against Saudi Arabia to give Klinsmann his first win.
Oh looks like a third option in attack. On the 13th, against North African side Tunisia, Oh didn’t get a chance. It seemed as if the formula of starting Cho Kyu-sung and replacing Hwang Eui-jo was solidifying. Cho shook the Tunisian defense with his unique aerial battles, and Hwang Ui-jo roared into the goal when he was substituted.
However, the older siblings said Oh Hyun-kyu was still competing and hoped for their younger brother’s emergence. “It doesn’t matter who starts,” Cho Kyu-sung said, adding that he hoped their individual skills would help the team. Hwang Eui-jo, who scored a goal and helped the team to a 4-0 victory, also said, “It’s not a competition, but me, (Cho) Kyu-sung, and (Oh) Hyun-gyu have distinct strengths and we try to show them. Rather than competing, we try to learn a lot from each other’s strengths,” he said, emphasizing that it’s a coexistence, not a competition.
Oh has also been utilized by Celtic this season as a substitute for Furuhashi Kyogo (Japan). He was the top scorer in the Scottish Premiership (SPFL) last season and was heavily linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, but he stayed and signed a new four-year contract. Unless Furuhashi leaves, it’s hard to see Oh getting a starting spot. He’s also playing in the UEFA Champions League (UCL), which is his dream stage, but with two losses already, it’s unlikely he’ll make it to the round of 16, so it’s down to league competition.
Still, it’s up to Oh Hyun-gyu to overcome this with time. Oh was the last to leave the training ground during the Paju National Football Team Training Center (Paju NFC) convening. Although the Korean Football Association allowed him to join training on the second day of the call-up, he dramatically walked in at the start of the first training session on September 9 to warm up.
Oh Hyun-gyu moved like a bad boy throughout training. After the closed-door training session, he repeatedly took shots with Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon Commerce) in front of the goal. Like the sports adage, “Practice makes perfect,” he repeated his shots according to the position of the goal. The day before the match against Tunisia, he repeated his shooting practice. He didn’t get the chance, but he was determined to try.먹튀검증
The final match against Vietnam on the 17th will be held at Suwon World Cup Stadium, the home of Suwon, the team he played for until last year and kept alive with a dramatic goal in the second leg of the promotion playoffs. It’s a perfect opportunity for him to make a statement in a familiar setting.
“I think it’s important to give the players who haven’t played a lot of games a chance,” Klinsmann said in his pre-match press conference on Saturday, announcing a series of changes. Substitute Hwang Eui-jo is likely to start, but Oh Hyun-gyu will be given the nod due to his ability to break down Vietnam’s dense defense with his pace.
Oh fits in with Klinsmann’s desire to play attacking soccer. With Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) rested again and a change in formation, he may have a better chance of playing in the attacking second line. It’s time for Oh to see the fruits of his labor.